‘Excavating the Cradle of an Imperial Dynasty: The Material Culture and Prosopography of Byzantine Amorion’

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November 2020

Dear Patrons, Members and Friends,


The Greek Archaeological Committee UK is very pleased to invite you to its 60th lecture entitled “Excavating the Cradle of an Imperial Dynasty: The Material Culture and Prosopography of Byzantine Amorion” by Dr Olga Karagiorgou and Dr Nikos Tsivikis.

Under normal circumstances this lecture would have been given on 9th November in King’s College London’s Great Hall. It would also have been a very special event intended to celebrate, upon her planned retirement, the contribution of our Founder, Matti Egon, to Anglo-Greek cultural understanding and appreciation, especially in the field of Archaeology. Instead, we are now mourning her passing on 14th October and, because of the pandemic, we cannot assemble at the Great Hall.

The lecture, dedicated now to the memory of Matti Egon, will therefore be given online through the ZOOM platform courtesy of the British School at Athens, on Thursday 3rd December, starting at 5pm UK time, 7pm Greek time. In order to participate in the event, it is necessary to register in advance through the following link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UquK-l1WRlensfXCzZeZ8Q

Dr Olga Karagiorgou read History and Archaeology at Athens University before gaining a MPhil and a DPhil at Christ Church, Oxford. She was the Greek Archaeological Committee UK’s first ever scholar!  She was also a British Academy, A.S. Onassis Foundation and Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, D.C.) postgraduate scholar. She was awarded post-doctoral Fellowships by the Hellenic Scholarships Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. She taught at Oxford and at the Hellenic Open University and worked for the King’s College London Project on the “Prosopography of the Byzantine World-PBW”. She has participated in excavations in Greece, Syria and Turkey and has attended numerous conferences with papers related to her research on Late Antique Archaeology and Byzantine Prosopography and Sigillography. She has received the ARISTEIA II Award of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013 for her Research Project entitled TAKTIKON and is Secretary General of the Greek Committee for South Eastern European Studies. She is currently Associate Researcher at the Research Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art of the Academy of Athens.

Dr Nikos Tsivikis read Byzantine Archaeology at the University of Crete. He has been awarded scholarships in the USA by Dumbarton Oaks, Princeton University, Medieval Academy of America, Metropolitan Museum of Art, California State University as well as in Greece and in Turkey. He is specialized in the evolution of Byzantine cities focusing on social relationships as expressed in the built and unbuilt environment while his interests in social issues extends beyond academia and is a founding member of various initiatives and joint projects. He is a senior member of the Ancient Messene Excavation Project (Peloponnese) and is leading the “Amorium Urban Survey (Asia Minor)” project. He has published papers in English, Greek and Turkish on Byzantine architecture, sculpture, epigraphy and metalwork. Formerly a post-doctoral researcher at the Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz, he is currently a research fellow at the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, Rethymnon, Crete.

Amorion (modern Hisarköy, some 110 miles SW of Ankara, Turkey) occupies a special place in the history of the Byzantine Empire as the capital of one of the most important of its provinces, the thema of the Anatolikoi, and the birthplace of the homonymous short-lived dynasty of Byzantine emperors, the Amorian dynasty (820-867). The archaeological discovery of a consistent destruction level across the city that can be securely connected to the siege and sack of Amorion in AD 838 by the Abbasids, stands out as a unique discovery. The lecture will present some of the most important excavated monuments at Amorion, some new finds, as well as an inventory of individuals, attested on its archaeological record (inscriptions, molybdoboulla) in an effort to offer, for the first time, a livelier overview of Byzantine Amorion, based on its material remains as well as its people.

This, our first online lecture, given by two very talented and lively speakers, promises to be informative and fascinating and I very much hope that you will register to join us on Thursday, 3rd December. The link will be re-sent to you a few days earlier prior to the event, so please do look out for it in your email.


Looking forward to welcoming you,



Dr Zetta Theodoropoulou Polychroniadis